More travelers are using Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as their gateway to the skies. Airport spokesman Jim Halbrook said the airport anticipates reports to show an increase of passengers in 2011 over 2010. While smaller, nearby airports did not all experience an increase in air traffic in 2011, they are making improvements and planning for future growth.

1. Taylor Municipal Airport

  • The City of Taylor is going through the approval process to extend the airport runway from 4,000 to 5,000 feet. Although the extension is years away, Bob van Til, director of planning and development, said the longer runway will allow the airport to accommodate larger business jets compared with the single- and double-engine aircraft that use the airport now.

2. Georgetown Municipal Airport

  • Airport Manager Sarah Hinton said additional events are scheduled at the airport in 2012. The Easter Egg Drop will occur March 31, a movie night is tentatively planned for Father's Day and the third annual Georgetown Airfest is scheduled for Nov. 3.
  • Within the next six months, the airport will resurface and reseal some of the taxiways and lanes and add blue solar lights to make it easier for pilots to navigate.

3. Austin Executive Airport

  • Austin Executive Airport, formerly known as Bird's Nest Airport, opened in June and is planning to begin construction on a new hangar in January, Executive Director Andrew Perry said.

4. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

  • On Dec. 15, Austin City Council approved using the design/build method to construct a fourth passenger screening checkpoint at the airport.
  • A report released Dec. 5 revealed the total passenger traffic for January through October 2011 was up 6 percent compared to the same time period in 2010, marking 22 consecutive months of passenger growth.
  • The free cell phone waiting area for passenger pickup opened Nov. 1.
  • A new holiday overflow parking area near the cargo facilities was finished in late November and has 764 additional spaces off of Spirit of Texas Drive.